by Walt Whitman (1819 - 1892)

Language: English 
Small is the theme of the following Chant, 
yet the greatest—namely, One’s-Self — 
that wondrous thing a simple, separate person.
That, for the use of the New World, I sing.	

Man’s physiology complete, from top to toe, I sing. 
Not physiognomy alone, nor brain alone, 
is worthy for the muse; — I say the Form complete is worthier far. 
The female equal with the male, I sing,
Nor cease at the theme of One’s-Self. 
I speak the word of the modern, the word En-Masse:
My Days I sing, and the Lands — 
with interstice I knew of hapless War.

O friend whoe’er you are, at last arriving hither to commence, 
I feel through every leaf 
the pressure of your hand, which I return. 
And thus upon our journey link'd together 
let us go.

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Confirmed with Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Philadelphia: David McKay, [c1900];, 1999.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2014-08-20
Line count: 17
Word count: 133